Sharron Angle and Media Bias

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee to face Sen. Harry Reid in November, is very conservative. We actually knew that before the Nevada primary was called for her on Tuesday night. What most people didn’t know was just how radical her views actually are. Now we’re reminded that, in an echo of Dr. Strangelove,  Angle opposed flouridation. We’re told that she claimed to be a member of the Oath Keepers.

The same thing happened to Rand Paul—the most damaging, controversial things he supported and said only got national attention after he won the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky.

Here’s why this happens: Politicians in one party (in this case the Dems) are always rooting for the more vulnerable candidate to win the other party’s primary. So they hold off on releasing whatever dirt they’ve dug up on the weaker candidate until after the primary’s over. 

It’s a good bet that some in the media was rooting for Angle last night. That’s not because journalists are rooting for Reid to face a weak candidate. It’s because they’re rooting for a good story. Angle’s hardcore conservatism makes her a great story. She’ll drive eyeballs and pageviews for the rest of the year, and help the journalists who cover her become nationally known.

It’s not that the media was holding back before—it’s just that there’s a lot to cover. Now Angle’s the only Republican in a top-tier race and the Dems oppo is about to be unleashed. Not only did she get more important when she won the primary—she also got a lot easier to cover. Everything she says will get a lot more attention, and she won’t be able to get away with gaffes that might have been survivable in the primary. If she slips up and says something that the media considers unforgivable (something that can be used to paint her as a racist, anti-semite, birther, or 9/11 truther, for example), she’ll get torn apart. It’s a nasty business.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.